Note: This entry was published in the Summer 2019 Edition of the Special Olympics Athlete Review (SOAR) newsletter.
By Troy Jackson
I’ve been involved with Special Olympics for the past 14 years and have enjoyed every moment of it. Two years ago, I happened to get an e mail with a newsletter called SOAR. When I first opened it, I saw some amazing stories from other athletes whose accomplishments on and off the field empowered them to accomplish other great things within their community.
As soon as I finished reading SOAR, I immediately started typing up a story for the next edition. In that story, I talked about my athletic accomplishments and how Special Olympics has helped me develop a positive mindset, eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis. Shortly after I submitted my story, I found out that there was a position for athletes like me that were interested in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The name of the training I went through was called “Healthy Lifestyles,” which then allowed me to become a Health and Fitness Coordinator. I’ve had amazing experience as a Health and Fitness Coordinator by leading Healthy Habits discussions, organizing health and fitness clubs and helping my fellow athletes set personal sports and fitness goals.
In the last 14 years, I’ve made several new friends and look forward to many great opportunities down the road!– Troy Jackson, Bucks County
As a result of my accomplishments locally, I then got the opportunity to instruct Healthy Lifestyles at Athlete Leadership University the last two years. After continuing with my practicum, I then got to graduate with a degree in health during the Athlete Leadership University graduation ceremony. The same weekend, I also became trained as a global messenger so I can tell even more people about my accomplishments and how Special Olympics can empower them to live a healthier lifestyle.
Additionally, this is also my first year coaching for flag football. I feel the skills I have picked up as a Health and Fitness Coordinator will help me greatly so that other athletes can achieve their personal bests! In the last 14 years, I’ve made several new friends and look forward to many great opportunities down the road!
Troy Jackson is an Athlete Leader from Bucks County and has been participating in Special Olympics for 14 years. Troy is a member of the Athlete Leadership University Class of 2019. Outside of Special Olympics, Troy enjoys practicing martial arts and cooking.